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Day Activities in Angeles

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I frequently hear people saying there is nothing to do in Angeles in the daytime.  Yet, I find that there is plenty to do if you would like to get out of your air-conditioned room and away from the swimming pool.  Here is my list.

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Ultralights:   The Angeles City Flying Club is the oldest flying club in town. They have been operating a fleet of ultra light aircraft out of Mabiga (about 10 minutes north of Angeles City) for over 15 years. For more information, click on the photo for a direct link to their website.    They offer rides over the lahar fields for as low as P1650, or full flight lessons.

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Golfing: There are currently nine golf courses within driving distance of Margarita Station.  The Swagman Hotel runs trips to different golf courses almost every day.  The Wild Orchid can also arrange golf outings.  For more information, see our golfing page or contact the Balibago Social Golf Club.

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Billiards/Darts:   Pool tables can be found in most bars and hotels in town. There are very active 8-ball pool leagues and dart leagues in town and many establishments are looking for players.  For pool teams, check with the management at your favorite hangout.  Dart players should go see Jimmy D in the La Casa near the VFW.
VISIT THE MALLS: Shoe Mart (SM) mall is walking distance from Margarita Station or Fields Avenue. It has a variety of good stores, numerous restaurant and fast food outlets and a cinema. It also has full generator back up, so this is the place to be during brownouts if you are not floating in one of the hotel  swimming pools.  There are three other major shopping malls in Angeles that can be reached using local transportation or by renting a car for the afternoon.
SOAK IN THE HOT SPRINGS: The ABC Hotel front desk can set up a trip out to the hot springs by 4-wheel drive vehicles.  A great way to spend the afternoon. Take plenty of iced down San Miguel beer.

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Pinatubo Hike:  The more athletically inclined, hikers can explore the slopes of Mount Arayat year round and during good weather, guides will take you up the slopes of Mount Pinatubo.   You can now take 4-wheel drive vehicles most of the way, leaving a 1-2 hour hike into the lake.  Contact Amega Travel for  current information on these hikes (The Margarita Station cashier can assist you in contacting Amega). 

The HASH: There is a very active HASH House Harrier group with weekly runs every Sunday.  They leave from the The Anchorage Inn at 2:00 PM (for walkers/first timers) and 3:00 PM (for runners)  The HASH'rs also have special runs on full moons and other special occasions.

You don't have to be a super star to have fun with this group.   In fact most of the people each week just walk.  If you can walk 3-4 miles (with some hills) you will get to see more of the Philippines in several hours than most tourists see on their whole vacation.  Cost is P300 for guys and P100 for girls.  This includes your drinks on the run and at the end.  Don't wear good shoes because trails often go through small streams.

Daytrip to Corrigidor:  This one takes a small group to make it affordable.   You can leave Angeles about 8 AM, see historic Corregidor Island, and be back in Angeles for cocktails.  Van, boat rental, and park fees about $130 for up to 5 or 6 people.  For more info, CLICK HERE

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Lawn Bowling:  This is a great afternoon sport that doesn't require a lot of energy.  Angeles Sports and Country Club is located only about 5-10 minutes from checkpoint / Margarita Station.  They also have includes a nine-hole golf course, driving range, the finest lawn bowl greens in the country. Swimming pools, members bar, restaurant, sauna, massage rooms and a children's play area.

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Daytrips to the Beach: Subic is now only about 1 hour away on the SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway). Leave early in the morning, enjoy lunch on the beach and return in time for cocktails. Additionally, there are numerous activities here from Sea World to jet skiing.  Or, do an overnight trip and explore the bars of Barrio Baretto and Subic City.

casino.jpg (6364 bytes) Gambling:   We have two casinos in Angeles.  One is on McArthur Highway in  Angeles and the other is on Clark.  Additionally, there are a number of "Texas Hold Em" Poker rooms, the most notable of these is at the Wild Orchid Hotel. And, if you are into Off Track Betting, check with the Swagman for daily races and the big ones on the weekend.
Water Parks: There are two water parks that your companion will really enjoy.  The biggest one is Fontana Resort on Clark and there is a much smaller one in Dau.

The Fontana Water Park a world-class wave pool that can electronically produce various types of waves and Three water slides. Additionally there is a "lazy river" a "water factory" and a Pirate ship."  Additionally there is a Olympic size swimming pool, and a hot spring lagoon pool.  It is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm. Entrance is P 300 on weekdays and P400 Friday thru Sunday.  Night swimming is available Fri thru Sunday from 7-10 pm for only P 200 per person.  Life vests, towels, and Nipa huts are available for rent.

The Dau Greenville Resort features multiple waterslides, a children’s swimming pools (also equipped with waterslides), and a Olympic-sized pool.    Entrance fee is P 70 pesos for day swimming, and 90 pesos for night swimming (same price for adults & children). There are day cottages for rent and air-conditioned lodges for overnight stays. Dau Greenville Resort is off McArthur highway in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

GO SWIMMING: Day or night, there is no better way to beat the tropical heat than jumping in a swimming pool. The Wild Orchid has two large pools (seen in the photos here). The other popular pools are Pacific Breeze, Lewis Grand, and the ABC Hotel.  many of these hotels will allow non-guests to swim with the payment of a minimum amount that can be used for food & beverages of your choice.

Rent a Motorcycle: For getting around town numerous businesses now offer motor scooters for rent at a reasonable rate.    Dirt bikes are also available for rent to individuals that want to explore the river beds and lahar fields without all the physical exertion of a climb

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Gyms: There are several gyms in the area.  There is  one on 7th street, several on upper Perimeter Road, and one on Friendship Highway in Koreatown.  There is also a gym in the ABC Hotel, the Lewis Grand Hotel, and the Clarkton Hotel.   The Holiday Inn on Clark has a large well equipped gym and they sell monthly memberships.
Apu Market Apu Market, is a local market that is only open on Fridays. The market begins very early and most tables stay open until midnight Friday night.  This is like a Filipino Fle Market with cheap clothing, local handicraft and lots more.
Santo Rosario Church  Located in the heart of downtown Angeles this church with its double bell towers and its ancient, symmetrical Romanesque façade, rises in sharp contrast to the modern buildings and mall that surround the peripherals of the historic district.  It was constructed from 1877 to 1896 by the "Polo y Servicio" labor system, a kind of forced labor imposed on Filipino peasants by the Spanish colonial government. Later, the Spanish Army executed natives suspected of rebellion at the church backyard. When the Americans came it was used as a military hospital by the U.S. Army from August 1899 to December 1900.

Mt. Arayat National Park  Located about 18 kilometers from Fields Avenue, it's a great place for a picnic on a sunny day. You can hike to the waterfalls or swim in any of the park's three full-sized swimming pools. The natural spring waters are said to be very good for the skin. You can also hike up to the top of this long dormant volcano, but there are no trails to the top. The undergrowth is not to think, but it is a strenuous 3-4 hour climb.

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Tennis:  There are lots of tennis courts around Angeles City including some excellent clay courts for you pros. You can hire a Filipino player along with the courts and the guy will be as good or as bad as you want him to be.   And the Angeles Sports Club has the only grass courts in the Philippines.
Clark Museum: If you are a military buff, the museum at Clark is worth a 1-2 hour visit. It has many artifacts and photos of the US occupation in the Philippines. It also spotlights the US Military presence after the Philippine Independence.   Also referred to as the Kapampangan Museum, it displays Pampanga’s tragic experience with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and its rise as one of the country’s main economic zones. Entrance fee is P30 per person.  For guided tours of Clark Museum and other sites nearby, click here.
DO SOMETHING HUMANITARIAN: Buy some fruit or ice cream and take it to the residents of  Bahay Pag-Ibig (home for the Aged).  Contact Aida at Margarita Station and our cooks will prepare whatever you buy and we will provide you free transportation to Bahay Pag-Ibig so you can see the smiles a small gift brings.  This will take about 1.5 hours from departure until return to Margarita Station (Depart 1:30 pm and return about 3 pm).  Must be coordinated 1 day in advance.  See page for more details.

Paradise Ranch  Rent a car & driver, pack a picnic lunch and visit the Paradise Ranch and the Zoocobia Zoo. This is a 100-acre nature and conservation park nestled in the hills of Clark Sacobia Valley overlooking the Clark Freeport Zone, Mt. Arayat and Mt. Pinatubo. A perfect destination for family and field trips, company outings and retreats, team buildings, parties and other occasions.  The  Zoocobia Fun Zoo is located inside Paradise Ranch.  It a 1000 square meter butterfly garden, a garden maze, and an aviary. Learn about breeding of endangered species, growing organic vegetable and see the floral orchard.  Paradise Ranch is the home of DENR Region 3 Wildlife Sanctuary for all the rescued and captured endangered animals. In addition, they have a man made lake for rafting and fish feeding and a swimming pool and natural (looking) water falls and lagoons. They also have a spa and salon where you can relax and release stress with our unique massage. For those who are seeking solitude to meditate, they have an isolated prayer hill. The website says it "is open to the public without any membership fee", then it lists a P50 "conservation fee.

El Kabayo Riding Stables  Go on Clark and  ride a horse around the wooded trails and lush open meadows of Clark’s picnic grounds where hundreds of American stallions used to graze around. And it is possible to book an afternoon guided horse trail ride to the valleys and hills for an unforgettable experience or bonfire party (permit required).  They also feature calesa rides, group or family camp-out, evening cook-out, horseback riding lessons. Prices start at P150 for a 20 minute ride around the arena to P700 for an all-day ride.  A 45 minute trail ride is only P300.   Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Horseshoes: And if you find any lose horseshoes at the stables, there is a small group of avid horseshoe players around Angeles.  If this is your thing, check with the management at Jimmy D's La Casa.  I'm sure Jimmy will get you a game or two if you bet a few beers on the outcome.

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Massage: There are numerous places to get a good massage.  Amazingly, the prices are a little higher than Thailand.  Some of the bigger hotels have a in-house massage service.  many people recommend the massage parlor in the Hana Hotel in Koreatown.

BATAAN DEATH MARCH MEMORIAL There are two monuments to the Bataan Death march.  The old one pictured on the right is on the highway between Angeles and Tarlac. It has been neglected and is in very poor condition.  The BATTLING BASTARDS OF BATAAN have build a newer memorial near Camp O'Donnell. This memorial is on the site of the POW camp at the end of the march.  Relatives of the survivors still make an annual pilgrimage to this site.  A trip to this memorial  with a stop at the Kamikaze airfield memorial will take about  half a day.  MORE

Kamikaze West Airfield  The airfield was located on the right side of McArthur highway as you exit Mabalacat heading north.  Look for the monument before the bridge over the Scobia river.  There is little to see now days except the monument on the left. The actual airfiled is now a sugar cane field.  See this in conjunction with other day trips such as the Bataan Death March memorial in Capas.  This Kamikaze airfield was constructed by the Japanese in March 1944. By October 1944, it was operating as the West Kamikaze Airfield. It was here where the first Kamikaze pilots took-off on 21 October 1944 to attack US Naval forces east of the Philippines. This airfield was used by the kamikaze up to 10 January 1945 when they transferred to Taiwan. On 28 January 1945, American liberation forces captured this airfield as well as the whole of Clark Field.
Drag Races: Several local and Manila Hot Rod Clubs have drag races at the Cope Thunder Drag Strip on Clark Air base at least every other weekend.
Cricket:   Yes, there is cricket at least twice a week at Angeles Sports and Country Club. And there are occasional international tournaments on Clark Special Economic Zone.